Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Pet 3:15)
We Christians ought to be a hope-filled people but a mixed-up gospel has made us a wishful people. We ought to be strong in the faith but religion has weakened us with disappointment.
If you’ve been disillusioned and disenchanted, the good news is that God has hope for you, a good hope, the kind that lasts. Where is this hope found? In his grace: “God our Father has given us good hope by grace” (2 Th 2:16).
Hope is a rope that links us to a truth not yet experienced. Your hope is only as good as the truth to which it is attached. Below are six truths that will fill you with strong hope. Ruminate on these truths. Let them take root in your heart and you will never be disappointed.
1. The Maker of heaven and earth is your Father
God has adopted you into his family. You are not a soldier or a servant but a son, dearly loved.
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Rom 5:5)
Don’t ask God to give you hope; ask him to reveal his love. He will! He has! To know his love is to know that your Father can be trusted. He has promised to take care of you, to watch over you, to supply all your needs, so expect good things from him. Here is Brennan Manning writing in The Ragamuffin Gospel:
Abba is not our enemy. If we think that, we are wrong. Abba is not intent on trying and tempting and testing us. If we think that, we are wrong. Abba does not prefer and promote suffering and pain. If we think that, we are wrong. Jesus brings good news about the father, not bad news. We need a new kind of relationship with the Father that drives out fear and mistrust and anxiety and guilt, that permits us to be hopeful and joyous, trusting and compassionate. We have to be converted from the bad news to the good news, from expecting nothing to expecting something. (p.76)
2. Nothing can separate you from his love
In this world you may suffer for your mistakes. You may get fired, rejected, divorced, even killed. But your Father will never write you off when you make a bad choice. His grace is greater than your sin.
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Rom 8:38-39, MSG)
Paul was absolutely convinced about God’s love; you need to be convinced too. You need to trust his love, cling to it, never forget it. Everything else will pass away, but his love endures forever. It’s the one thing you can hang onto.
3. You are one with Christ
The believer who is assured of his union with the Lord will have a strong confidence, for the Lord’s future is his future.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col 1:27)
You need to get this. You need to shout it aloud: “Christ’s future is my future.” When you get this it will totally change the way you live today. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s Spurgeon writing in All of Grace:
Dwell much upon this partnership with the Son of God, unto which you have been called: for all your hope lies there. You can never be poor while Jesus is rich, since you are in one firm with him. Want can never assail you, since you are joint-proprietor with him who is possessor of heaven and earth. You can never fail; for though one of the partners in the firm is as poor as a church mouse, and in himself an utter bankrupt who could not pay even a small amount of his heavy debts, yet the other partner is inconceivably, inexhaustibly rich. In such partnership you are raised above the depression of the times, the changes of the future, and the shock of the end of all things. The Lord has called you into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ, and by that act and deed He has put you into the place of infallible safeguard. (p.118)
4. In Christ, you are eternally secure
When you know the love of your heavenly Father, and when you are convinced of your union with Christ, you will have no fear of falling or being cast away.
He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful… (1 Cor 1:8-9)
The Lord’s future is your future. Since Jesus is eternally secure, you are eternally secure. Believe it!
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, (2 Th 2:16)
The comfort and hope religion gives you is fleeting and weak, but the comfort and hope that God provides is eternal and good. All this is to the glory of his grace and faithfulness.
5. God helps us in our helplessness
“This is all very nice, Paul. But I gotta pay the bills and feed the kids. What does this mean for me today?”
Read the Sermon on the Mount and you will see that Jesus is speaking to anxious people. They’re worried about food. They’re living with crop failures and thieving tax collectors and oppressing Romans.
What does Jesus do? He gives them hope. “Don’t be like the pagans who worry about this stuff, for the God who feeds the animals will feed you.”
Jesus gives them hope then he gives them food! He feeds the five thousand and the four thousand. He addresses their physical hunger as well as their deep spiritual hunger. “I am the bread of life.”
The faith you need for today comes from the bright hope you have for tomorrow, and hope comes from love. So if you have a need today, an area where you could be operating in faith, remind yourself of how much Daddy-God loves you. Don’t whine to God about your big problem. (He already knows.) Instead, talk to your mountain about the goodness of your heavenly Father who takes care of you, then watch those mountains fall!
6. God believes in you!
God not only takes care of your present needs, he nurtures your unrealized dreams.
Love… always hopes. (1 Cor 13:7)
The God who sees the end from the beginning has a rock-solid hope in you. That hope is not based on your potential, but on reality. For you it’s just a dream, but he has already seen it. It’s real, as good as done. Here’s Darrin Hufford writing in The Misunderstood God:
Not only do we need hope to survive, we need to know that God hopes in us as well. The moment we lose sight of this, we cease to matter in our own eyes. Every child searches their father’s eyes for hope and approval. We were not only created to have hope in our Father, but we were created to find hope in him as well. (p.181)
God has given you unique dreams, and he will help you realize them. He will turn setbacks into stepping stones and defeats into accomplishments.
What is your part in this? Guard your hope. Watch what you listen to. Don’t heed the lies of religion that contradict the truth of God’s word, and don’t be seduced by the empty dreams of this world.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:23)
Hope is the fruit of love so remain in his love and let nothing move you. When life shakes you and turns you upside down, wrap your hope rope around the One who is faithful.
He will never let you down.